For those of you who don’t know, my original degree is in music performance. Yes, I was a performing musician for a while before I ended up in my current corporate office role. Trust me, it isn’t as glamorous as it sounds to be a professional musician, but it was a bit of an unintentional journey to my current role in life. But that’s life, right? Anyway– I have a keen ear for music and I’m constantly listening to something. As I’ve been reading Anne, I’ve found my background music has fallen into a steady rhythm. So, this month’s #AnneReadAlong2017 Top 5 post features the songs I have been listening to while reading!
Feel free to join in our Top 5 List posts and linkup below. Just post your link in the comments! For future posts, our schedule is merely recommended– you’re welcome to join in whatever you’d like whenever you’d like! New to the #AnneReadAlong2017? Hosted by Jane @ Greenish Bookshelf and myself, we’d love to have you along for the journey– no matter where you are in your Anne reading.
And without further ado…
Top 5 Songs for my Anne Reading Soundtrack
1 – Beethoven’s 6th Symphony: Pastoral
Ahhh, Beethoven. This is my favorite recording of Beethoven’s 6th Symphony. There is something about the way Leonard Bernstein leads an orchestra which just captivates me. Why Beethoven 6? This is his Pastoral Symphony. Pastorale music is intended to be representative of the life of shepherds; depicting life in an idealized and calm manner typically intended for urban audiences. Prince Edward Island is the sort of physical place which reminds me of pastorale music, particularly in the way Anne Shirley describes her favorite locations. Plus, Beethoven’s music isn’t all calming long drones traditional to this music. Particularly the first and fourth movement I can easily associate with Anne.
2 – Bach’s Cello Suites
The Bach Cello suites are some of my favorite pieces of music to listen to. I can just get lost in the arpeggiated tones and space out for the two hours it typically takes to get through all 6 cell suites; absolutely and completely lost in the music. My two favorite cellists are Pau Casals and Yo-Yo Ma– obviously. While I really enjoy listening to the Casals version of the full suites, I found myself listening to Yo-Yo Ma more often during my Anne reading. The way Yo-Yo Ma plays has more sudden tempo changes and accents, befitting Anne’s sometimes fickle moods. Suites 1 & 5 are my favorite, so you get the recording for 1, 4 and 5. Check out 2, 3, and 6 here!
3 – Let It Go/Vivaldi’s Winter – The Piano Guys
I couldn’t mention the Cello Suites without thinking of another staple in my reading-listening repertoire: The Piano Guys. A duo of cello and piano, they became famous for doing mashups of classical and popular music. They’ve branched into original music as well as some more creative uses of looping, percussion, and ensemble music since they became a big deal. They also have some really wonderful music videos; these dudes really know how to perform! I strongly encourage you to check out all their albums if they are new to you. This version of Let It Go/Vivaldi’s Winter is an easily accessible mash up. I personally think Anne would adore these mashups. If you don’t know the originals, I encourage you to check out Let It Go and Vivaldi’s Winter.
4 – Summer – Joe Hisaishi
Joe Hisaishi is a Japanese pianist and composer. He is known for scoring the music to all of Hayao Miyazaki’s films (except Lupin the III: The Castle of Cagliostro) and many of Takeshi Kitano’s award winning films. He is an amazing composer and a beloved figure in Japanese music. I imagine that Anne would listen to this music and get lost in her own idealistic fantasies. I selected Summer, as I think the music he wrote for the Miyazaki films is more well known (if you care, my favorite Miyazaki soundtrack is from Howl’s Moving Castle). If you aren’t familiar with Hisaishi’s works, I strongly encourage you to find a playlist or two to check out. He has beautiful, catchy, emotion-evoking, mesmerizing songs. Songs like Summer are also befitting of Anne’s experiences once she leaves Green Gables. I find that this music is more complex and quicker to change than traditional pastorale music– perfect for adventures in Nova Scotia and byond!
5 – Dalmasca Estersand – Final Fantasy XII
Okay, by now you might have noticed that I don’t listen to music with words in them when I read. This is because I find myself focusing on the lyrics and I get all jumbled in my head listening to spoken/sung words while I try to read words. There is something about this particular theme from Final Fantasy XII which always made me think of Anne Shirley getting up to some misadventures. While I might have listened to the Distant Worlds concert in its entirety while reading Anne, I found this piece reminded me of her the most.
BONUS: The Anne of Green Gables 1985 film Main Theme – Hagood Hardy
Okay, okay. I would totally be remiss if I didn’t include something from the 1985 Anne of Green Gables mini series starring Megan Follows! The whole soundtrack I haven’t been able to find online, but I’ve listened to this theme more times than I can count! It’s beautiful and completely fitting for Anne Shirley’s life on PEI. I cannot wait until I get to FINALLY watch this mini-series. Anne with an E is also on my list, but it’s definitely not as high up there. I feel like I should start with the classics first.
Other Top 5 Songs for My Anne Reading Soundtrack Lists
What do you think?
- Do you listen to music while you read? If so, what types of music do you lean towards? If not, why?
- What are your favorite music genres?
- What music do you think modern Anne Shirley would be into?